HCCW: Rethinking the Purpose of Work through the Pleasures and Displeasures of Food

Melissa L. Caldwell
UC Santa Cruz

This Working Group brought together a group of scholars from the humanities and humanistic social sciences who work at the intersection of food studies and labor to critically examine how food-related activities challenge categories and practices pertaining to labor such as service, profit, desire, pleasure, and leisure. Topics included distinctions and relationships between work and leisure, work and voluntarism, economic capital and cultural capital, utilitarianism and aestheticism, and profit and pleasure. Conversations were deliberately cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and transhistorical, and engaged both empirical and theoretical materials. Ultimately, the cross-fertilization of these approaches contributed new forms of scholarship, teaching, and mentoring.